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School Fire in Washington
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School Fire in Washington

April 23, 2013
According to the National Interagency Fire Center report of August 9, 2005, the School Fire in southeastern Washington’s Umatilla National Forest had grown to 47,000 acres. Firefighters had the blaze about 20 percent contained, but conditions were difficult. The steep terrain of the Blue Mountains and debris rolling down slopes were hampering containment efforts. This pair of images shows the School Fire on the afternoon of August 8, 2005, captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The top image is a photo-like view, showing the forested mountains and the thick smoke pouring from them. The bottom image is enhanced with MODIS' observations of short- and near-infrared energy. Vegetation appears bright green, water is dark blue, naturally bare soil (or very sparse vegetation) is tan, and burned areas are deep reddish brown. Places where MODIS detected active fire are outlined in red. Within these “hot spot” outlines, a bright pink glow is visible; this often indicates the location of extremely hot, openly flaming fire. Credit: NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center


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